Youth: The Vanguard of Movements


Pakistan is passing through a phase in its history where civil rights movements have arisen in every corner of the country. Students, women, ethnic minorities and many other marginalized groups are often seen on roads chanting slogans of Azadi. The factor common among these movements is the active role of their youth. Most of these resistance groups are led by young leaders. From the politically and economically neglected tribal areas, the PTM activists become icons of resistance for the young generation of Pashtuns. When their tribesmen are made subject to state and non-state oppression in Pakistan, they ask Da Singa Azadi Da (what kind of independence is this? In Punjab’s Lahore, thousands of university students get to the roads to demand their part in politics. With the slogan Sarfaroshi Ki Tamanna Ab Hamary Dil Main hay (the will to sacrifice is in our hearts now), they build a movement that expands all across Pakistan. These public universities’ students get actively involved in the struggle for the restoration of student unions, which were banned in 1984 by a military dictator. Similarly, women leaders of the country struggle for their individual, social, political and economic rights in the form of the Aurat Marches, happening in various cities on 8th of March every year. Alongwith women, young people from other gender minorities, especially the Khwajasira community, show their active participation in the political landscape of Pakistan. One also hears the voices of Balochs, Sindhis and Kashmiris chanting slogans like Hay Jaan Sey Piyari Azadi. Seraiki youths from the geographically central parts of Pakistan have been seen pushing their demand for a separate Seraiki province. While they consistently call on the state to listen to them, the anti-people state does everything to silence them. The state in its paranoia not only refuses to endorse the needs of the youth but activates its oppressive machinery against them. They are abducted, batten-charged and termed anti-state and even anti-Islam. It is high time for the state to end old tactics of silencing dissent. It is the time to listen to the youth and let them control the future that belongs to them.


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